“We think we can confidently say that this is the best time of year to bike in New Orleans. Normally, we’d be biking to festivals, parking bikes with our Bicycle Valet program, and going on group rides for the Bike Easy April Challenge. But, we’ve adjusted to doing solo rides and found other ways to enjoy and advocate for biking in our city” reports Dan Favre from Bike Easy in April 2020.
The local bike shops have gone to great lengths to set up safe operating procedures in order to keep everyone safe and healthy while keeping bikes in working order.
“For many bicycle and pedestrian advocates, the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed what many of us have been saying for years: walking and bicycling are critical modes of transportation that deserve more attention and funding. Walking, biking, and wheeling are independent and resilient transportation modes that are healthy for mind, body, and planet. The coronavirus response has left schools closed, businesses shuttered, and public transportation ridership has plummeted, yet it has shined a spotlight on the importance of walking and bicycling in communities across the country. #BikeMatchNOLA is a way to connect people in need of a bicycle during the COVID-19 pandemic with bikes donated by other individuals” adds Dan Favre from Bike Easy.
Many people in the New Orleans area cannot afford a car and do not have access to bus routes, so they use a bike to get groceries, medicines, and travel to work. Safety is extremely important when it come to riding a bike anywhere.In New Orleans and other cities, it is quite common to see adults riding their bicycles on the sidewalks. However, it is not legal. There are ordinances that limit the use of sidewalks to pedestrians. Only small children 14 years and younger are allowed to ride their bikes on the sidewalk.
Refer to Sec. 36-254. - Lamps and other equipment on bicycles for more details of the laws:
(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred (500) feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear and a reflector on-each side facing outward at a right angle to the bicycle frame, of a type which shall be visible from all distances from sixty (60) feet to one hundred (100) feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
(b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred (100) feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
(c) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
Bike Easy:Bike Easy's mission is simple. We make bicycle riding in Greater New Orleans easy, safe, and fun for everyone. Metro Bicycle Coalition dba Bike Easy, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that improves bicycling in Greater New Orleans through education and advocacy.
Sec. 36-254. - Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.
This light blue ladies bicycle has a bell on the right side of the handle bar for easy access. A white light in front and red lights in the rear make it visible to others on the road. Yellow reflectors on the bike peddles add to the safety. Proper brakes are also important. A kickstand helps to stabilize the bike when not in use. According to the laws in Jefferson Parish, no person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell. For under ten dollars, a bicycle bell can be purchased. A bicycle horn can also be used within the law.